Running Time: 104 minutes
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Amber Heard,
Directed By: Patrick Lussier.
Rating: 4.5 out of 10
A man escapes from hell to save his granddaughter from satanic cultists.
So I remember seeing the commercials for this film and not really paying much attention to them. It was Nicolas Cage driving around in a car with a hot girl in the passenger seat. It seemed too much work to focus on. I recently got a copy to watch, and I read the synopsis on the back and then had to reread it as I thought I must have read it wrong. To my utter horror what I read the first time was correct so here we go. Drive Angry is the story of Milton. He escapes hell to seek revenge on the men who killed his daughter, and to try and save his granddaughter in the process.
Holy crap, Nicolas Cage is a zombie! Well not really, but he is walking the earth again in this as an undead man. You are going to hate me for this next statement and trust me I hate myself a little for saying it. This movie wasn’t that bad. Of course if you are going to break it down into its core parts and analyze the story it is pretty rancid. If you are able to appreciate a film for its no brain action though, then there is a lot to like about this film. After an opening scene where Milton literally drives a car out of hell and back to earth. I was thinking to myself who comes up with this crap. As the film carries on though it is clear that only one thing matters and that is a super high body count. Milton and his shot gun blows off heads, hands, legs, and any other appendage you care to think of in search of his granddaughter. The film has little else to offer except dead bodies piled up where ever Milton goes. Sure he meets a woman named Piper and she accompanies him on this ludicrous mission. Sure the people who have kidnapped his granddaughter happen to be satanic cultists and need the baby for a demonic ritual. Sure Milton is being followed by an agent of Satan named the Accountant who is tasked to bring him back to hell. As you can see the story is nonsense, but the violence is very real and it happens very often, so most action lovers will be sated.
It is a Nicolas Cage movie must I really talk about the acting? Anyways Milton is played by Nicolas Cage, and if I am going to be unbiased he pulls it off. It is not a challenging role though. All he has to do is not smile as he drives across country killing anyone in his way. He is easy to follow in this film even if his hair is disturbingly reminiscent of the Crypt Keepers. His sidekick Piper is played by Amber Heard. She is basically eye candy in this and offers little to the film. She swears incessantly, fights obnoxiously, and wears tight clothes. Not much to the role or the performance. Last role to mention is the one of the Accountant played by William Fichtner. He is great in this film as a socially awkward agent of Satan. He relentlessly tracks Milton in this and tells people when he is going to see them next. My only complaint was he wasn’t in the film enough.
As the film continues on it offers lots of car chases and violence as Milton and Piper kill their way across America. Where the movie fails is in its special effects. There is so much going on that they are not as crisp as one would like. Scenes of heads exploding look fake, and poorly designed fire and explosions are cringe worthy. Not to mention an end scene that makes the special effects from the Raiders of the Lost Ark finale seem like the Matrix. So in conclusion if you need a decent story this movie is awful. If you are able to shut your brain down for an hour and a half then you may enjoy Milton killing people in churches, hotels, highways, and everywhere else.
Director Patrick Lussier is a brave man shooting this movie. He had nothing to lose as his resume is pretty weak (Dracula 2000, My Bloody Valentine). What I liked is he knew the story was of such low quality that he made up with it in action sequences. The special effects were weak, but I still liked the feel of this film. Milton was a bad ass and a killing machine and nothing more. So this film got panned and I can understand why but I enjoyed this finished product.
I cannot recommend this film but if the effects were better it might have worked.
T Factor + If you like B grade action films then this could score higher on the rating scale.
T Factor – If you do not like Nicolas Cage as an actor then this could score lower on the rating scale.
If you liked this film reel recommendations: The Expendables, Death Race